What Feminism Means to Me #GuiltyFeministBook

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I'm a feminist but .... my favourite line from the podcast I wait to hear every week.

I have thought of myself as being a feminist for meany years and I honestly couldn't tell you when I first associated myself with that label.

I remember when I was 18 or 19 and I was in a literature class at uni in which we covered feminism, our teacher asked us to raise our hands if we were feminists raised their hands all female, there were three guys in our class, two of whom were my friends. The lesson went on to talk about the patriarchy and the waves of feminism and the hypocrisies of life that go against women and at the end of the class, my teacher as the same question, this time everyone raised their hand. 

That is my first vivid memory of calling myself a feminist 

Since then I have tried to learn as much about feminism and act like a feminist as much as I can and yes, I slip up.

I'm a feminist but sometimes I mess up a being a feminist. 
To me, being a feminist is plain and simple, everyone is the same, and should be treated the same. This is as far as I’m aware the core value of Feminism, and yet it is misconstrued over and over by some. Claiming that because I am a feminist I must hate men! On the contrary I love men, I love my dad and brothers, my boyfriend, my friends and my nephew who will soon make his arrival.

Feminism is bringing people together to realise that everyone is the same and trying to help out everyone we can so all of our voices are heard, so we are a community that never breaks. A movement that has brought so many freedom and has given me freedom to say what I think and stand up for myself and my fellow women, when people try to tell us we can’t do something because of our gender and when people try to discriminate, it means we will stand beside one another and show the bullies that they cant win.

To me feminism means choice, freedom, equality and most of all it means community. People standing together supporting one another.

Please go and buy The Guilty Feminist, it is an incredible read. Also go listen to the podcast you wont regret it!
Write again soon xx
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I Hate / Love My Body

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I never talk about my body or weight issues on my blog, because sometimes I feel it is too personal to talk about and then I think "why would anyone want to know or care about how I look." The genuine answer is that they don't, nobody really cares about how you look as much as yourself. 

I have had body issues and issues with my weight since I was a child, and I don't want this to come across as I am blaming anyone for my issues as they are mine and mine alone, but there were a lot of factors into why I had issues as a child, growing up and now even as an adult. I am ashamed to say I look into the mirror every morning to see the size of my stomach. The part about me that I hate the most. 

Ever since I was young I was a dancer, a ballet dancer to be precise and so that comes with a preconcieved idea of how you should look becuase of professional ballerinas and as a child who wanted nothing more than to become professional, the way I looked made me unhappy. I wasnt overweight or anything like that as a child, I was fine, a little pudgy sure. Hey I was a kid who loved sweets and food, it was to be expected. As well, I was short and so comparing myself to the other girls in my ballet classes who were tall and slim, made me dislike how I looked. I was a CHILD.

As I got older I became aware of diet culture from friends, family and the media, oh that lovely media who teaches young girls that unless you are skinny, you aren't beautiful. I was again a teenager who adored food, I was thankfully taking dance classes a couple of times a week as well as PE classes at school so I was exercising enough to make my body a little more in shape. But I still wasn't completely happy with how I looked. I couldn't even escape it at home, my mum and sister were constantly on diets and restricting their food and that was something I never wanted to take part in. My dad would make comments like "Shouldn't you be on a diet" when he saw me indulge in food. I would reply saying "No, when have I ever been on a diet? I don't plan to go on one either". 

That has remained true to this day. I have never in my life been on a diet, for the simple reason of I don't want to restrict myself from food. That's the kind of person I am. I just eat healthier and go to the gym instead. I genuinely enjoy working out and exercising and I feel amazing when I do it.

That's when I started feeling great about my body, after I graduated I was working out almost five times a week and with a personal trainer, I wasn't doing this because I wanted to change how I looked. (It may have started out like that when I first joined the gym) but because I loved getting fit and working out and making my body stronger. I once was able to sumo press 30kg and I was so incredibly proud of that.

 Then I started boxing, and oh my goodness I adored it and my personal trainer was incredible and although I no longer train with him I still consider him a good friend and I will always be thankful for him for introducing me to boxing. I got so much stronger for it and I was in great shape, and managed to get to my dream weight, which I never thought was possible. 

Even though I got to my dream weight and was exercising and eating well, it was impossible to maintain that when I went back to University to study for my MA. Student life is well known for not having the greatest ideal of food and health even though I tried my best. In regards to my fitness it had decreased but that was inevitable due to me having classes and deadlines, however I did join my University's boxing society and doing hardcore workouts there which I loved and kept me active.

Through all of this my weight and view of my body has fluctuated, there were time when I loved my body and how I looked and sometimes this when I didn't even exercise and times when I was the fittest I had ever been and hated how I looked in the mirror. The pictures at the top of this post were taken 5 months apart. The first, a couple of days after Christmas when my fitness has started to decrease because of my deadlines and then the second from the start of this month (May) when I haven't trained since February and the difference is visible but in actuality the weight difference is only a couple of pounds. 

The reason I have spoken about my weight and fitness journey is to show how my body and mindset have been throughout my life and its true there are days when I cannot stand how my body looks, when I feel big and hate myself for not eating as well as I should or not going to the gym and then put myself in a horrible mood because I am measuring my value on my weight, size and body.
But despite all of that...

I love my body. 

I really do, my body has been through so much, both through what life has put it through and what I personally have put it through and it has always come out stronger. My body is the place where my heart,mind and soul are and they are so incredibly important to me, so how could I ever not loved what protects and homes them? 

Looking at the pictures above, it is easy to think that I am happier in myself in one of of them than the other, but honestly I was exceeding happy when both of these photos were taken, regardless of how I looked. I am incredibly fortunate to have incredible friends and supportive family and a caring boyfriend who are always there to help me remember that how I look isn't the be all and end all like how I think, and that I am so much more than a number on a scale or a size on a clothes label. 

My body is me, and yes I may have my down days where I forget how amazing my body is and hate the sight of it and then hate myself, but beneath all of that self judgement, I love my body and I am so incredibly proud of it and what it can do. I just wish I learnt that a long time ago.

Write again soon 
xxx

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Hello 23

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So I'm 23 tomorrow. That feels weird to me as I have felt so comfortable being 22. I feel like 22 was my age. Now that might sound weird but being 22 was the year when I felt the most myself.
Being 22 I have learnt so much and grown so much as a person even though I will deny it constantly but I genuinely think its true. I have moved out properly for the first time away from my family and moved to London and started a whole new adventure.
It feels almost like I'm starting a new chapter with being 23, and I know that sounds incredibly stupid as age is literally just a number but it does feel that way to me. 
I'm hoping when I am 23 that maybe I will start to feel like an adult, although I very much doubt it, but who knows? I'm ready for a new adventure and maybe this year could bring a lot of new things into my life, if being 22 has shown me anything, it has shown literally anything can happen and some of the best things are unplanned. 
I am going into this new age in one of the happiest places I think I have ever been in, I am genuinely happy with  where I am in life and that feels amazing in comparison to previous years. I have incredible friends both IRL and URL, a boyfriend who is incredibly lovely, a supportive family and a purpose in life. I literally couldn't be happier than I am right now.
So goodbye 22. Hello 23.
Lets see what you've got for me.
Write again soon xxx     
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Living with Anxiety*

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This is not a pretty subject, because Anxiety isn't pretty. Its hard and horrible and debilitating and something I have lived with for the majority of my life. 

I have had anxiety since I was 12 years old, but I didn't realise it until I was 18 years old. For the longest time I was told I was just a worrier and I should just get over it and stop thinking about whatever was making me nervous. I have memories of being 12 years old hiding in my room after school begging the phone not to ring and be for me, My heart would pound out of my chest whenever the phone went. I had no idea why I felt that way I just knew I did. 

It only got worse as I got older. I would get so anxious of things I couldn't control to the point where I would feel physically sick. But back then no one really knew about anxiety disorders so how was I ever to know, that I wasn't weird, odd or broken because of these things that in reality were minute but they made my heart race and hands shake. It wasn't until I found a YouTuber called Zoella who talked about anxiety that it finally came together, and I could start to understand why I felt that way.

When I was 18 it started to get worse, and I had to tell my parents, they didn't understand until I explained to them what I was going through, they were supportive and helped me when I needed them.

After that I moved out for university and then it started again but this time I knew ways to manage it and how to fight against it, I even turned to the services at my university who I knew could help. I still struggle with it now, but I accept it now, its a fight I have to deal with everyday but I know how to fight back when it gets to overwhelming. Telling my friends why sometimes I would decline invitations to go out or drink is tough but my friends are incredibly supportive and they know when to offer a hand to help me when I need it. 

Mental health was always something I was ashamed of talking about when I was younger because I thought everyone would think I was being dramatic or seeking attention (which many people did, those people are no longer part of my life) but growing up I found out that I shouldn't be ashamed of something I cant control. I've learnt how to deal with it and live with it, it doesn't always have to put a stop to my life and what I'm doing, I've learnt how to fight against it when I can, and ask for help when I need it, this is especially hard for me. 

Anxiety isn't pretty, but neither is fighting a losing battle.
I don't plan to lose this one.

I was asked to write about my experiences with Mental Health by Millercare ,  they provide living and disability aids to help those with a disability, chronic illness and mental health in order to give them the best quality of life that they can. They are an amazing website who help so many people have a better quality of life.

Write again soon xxx




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My Favourite Holiday Memories*

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A view from an airplane window on the sun setting on the horizon

Hi everyone, its getting to that time of year when everyone starts thinking about the holidays and places they want to travel to and it made me realise that I haven't had a holiday in five years, and it made me laugh because I didn't even realise, but it made me think back to the places i have visited and loved and cherish those memories because they were only a few of them but they meant a lot when I was experiencing them. So when Holiday Gems contacted me asking if I would like to share my favourite memories from my holidays I said yes, the few holidays I have been on in my life have been some of the best memories I have and I will always cherish them.

Llandudno


Llandudno was a benchmark place for me and my family growing up, I spent the majority of my childhood in Wales and fell in love with the country and its beautiful towns and scenery. Every holiday we would visit Llandudno because my parents have a history with the seaside town and I had relatives there growing up who we would go visit. It was always a treat whenever we went, we would look through the town, spend some time shopping, I used to go into a pagan shop which would terrify my mum, (which I found hilarious) and then my family would make our way to the pier where you get to see the most breathtaking view when the sun is out. The pier is filled with vendors and arcades, it is impossible to not have a good time whilst you're there. My family would always get ice cream to have whilst e walked around (One year this resulted in a seagull flying over my head and stealing my ice cream, my family thought it was hilarious ... it was not)  I even once found the TARDIS on the pier and being the Whovian that I am, I stopped or a picture or two with it. After all this we would go visit my relatives and have dinner with them in a local pub, it was always a lovely way to catch up with them.

Benalmadena

People having fun swimming in the blue ocean and relaxing on the beach shore on a summer day

Now Benalmadena is without a doubt my most favourite holiday I have ever been on in my entire life. I went when I was 14 years old and I will never forget it. I had only been to Spain once before in my life but only when I was very young so I have very little memories therefore this trip was my first real memory of Spain and it did not disappoint. The area was breathtaking and the life there was mesmerizing. There was so much to do, the beach was idyllic, even at one point the sand was too hot to stand on with bare feet. The local market was incredible that even me and my Dad spent a while afternoon just exploring what it had to offer and the food was outstanding. My first venture into Spanish cuisine and I was not disappointed. My favorite memory from that holiday was me and my family going to a water park that was close by and having the best time ever. It is not a holiday I will forget.

And Finally

Betws-y-Coed


Now this place has a special place in my heart and has done since I visited for the first time when I was 10. Betws-y-Coed is a village in Conwy and it is one of my favourite places of all time. I never have a bad time whilst I'm there and I doubt I ever could. Me and my family visited here on our many family holidays to Wales whilst I was a child and this place to this day makes me want to return. My favourtie memory here was from the first time I ever visited, Betws-y-Coed if you have never been honestly feels like it should be in a fairytale it is so picturesque and beautiful. For such a small village there is a lot to do so when my family visited we had a lot to do, we went into the quaint little shops that line the streets selling everything from homemade fudge to the newest gadget. There was even a little train ride for children that me and my younger brother went on whilst my parents got us drinks and food for a picnic in the most beautiful field that is almost the counterpoint of the village. On sunny days it is the most beautiful place that I couldn't recommend to people more. 

So there are my favourite holiday memories, hopefully I will be making more soon.

Write again soon xx  


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Treating Myself with Hunkermoller*

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Sian Padded Underwired Longline Bra

Hey Everyone, this is a post that is a little different for me, as I have never really spoken about fashion on this blog, never mind Lingerie, however when Hunkermoller reached out to me I jumped at the chance to work with them and help show people the beautiful pieces that have. 

Now I have never been that body confident, I have my moments sure when I genuinely love my body and then there are days when you pick at any flaws with it. The latter days are more frequent and so looking at myself in the mirror is something I try to avoid.  

Personally a way I have found to help boost my confidence is to wear Underwear I feel good in. This is where Hunkermoller comes in, they have a huge range of  Lingerie in different styles and fits to suit everyone. You can even find your size here and everything from T- shirt Bras to Sport Bras to even Swimwear. All the pieces are so pretty and I couldn't decide when I first stared looking at their incredible range

After a while of debating between what to go for I decided on the Sian Padded Underwired Longline Bra (above) and honestly it is so pretty. I genuinely feel confident when I wear it. The birdcage detail on the front and lacy material adds so much charm to the bra.I adore the colour, the pretty pale pink tone is really lovely and compliments the design of the bra.

  I would be lying if I said that the bra would cheap, as start from £12 for a basic bra and then the price goes up, but hand on heart the products are worth it, they will last for a long time. Mine is a really sturdy material that I know will last for longer than the ones I buy at shops like Primark or New Look.

 It is a little cliche to say that Underwear makes you feel good, but with this Bra, I do. I feel good when I wear it, and a bit of body confidence is always good. I highly reccomend having a look on their websites they have so many amazing pieces I wish I had the money to buy them all.

Write again soon x    


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How I Practice Self Care*

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Self Care has become a priority for me in the past couple of months for the simple reason of, I don't look after myself, or better yet I don't care for myself. Not in a negative way just I don't give myself a chance to focus on me and how I am doing.
Treat Yourself

When life gets hectic, you need to take a step back and breathe, because for me is when I don't give myself a break with work and university. The way I de-stress and take some time for myself is treating myself to a little purchase, now this can be something big or small, It can range from a book to a new dress, or if I really want to splurge I will go for a Luxury Perfume Gift Set . These aren't often occurrences, but it is a nice little pick me up, when I need cheering up.
Have a Bath 
I will always say one of the best ways to relax and take some time for yourself and care for yourself is to have a bath. There is something so calming about baths. It gives you alone time with your thoughts, no outside distractions. You can forget about your life and enjoy the hot water enveloping you. The hot water soothes your muscles and relaxes you both mind and body. For me it is my first port of call when I need to relax and give myself some self care.
 Read a book
Books, are my solace and have been since I was little. Escaping into a fictional world helped me to get away from my life when I found it to be too much. Over time I became a huge bookworm, and I wouldn't have it any other way. It spawned a love of reading and writing for me. To this day there is nothing like settling down with a good book for a couple of hours and escaping and it is such a treat for me when I get to do this due to my busy schedule of University, Work, Exercising and Dating. It lets me retreat into worlds more brilliant than my own and I love it.A reader lives more than one life and I love every life I lived through books. 

 Listen to an Audiobook/Podcasts

This is a new thing to me. I have suddenly started listening to audiobooks and podcasts. The majority of what I listen to are Non fiction books and topical podcasts. There is something I find interesting in listening to how someone else thinks and the words they choose when they are talking to no one. I am currently to audio books about self empowered, which genuinely raises my mood and makes me feel like I can do anything, which I have to admit is a great feeling. With podcasts, I like listening to ones that talk about current topics, whether they are about literature, culture or even tinder fails. I find them fascinating.
 
Use a Facemask/ Cleanse my skin

Now self care isnt just about taking scare of your mind, hear and soul, it also applies to your actual body. I will be the first to admit that I do not take care of my skin, I leave my make up on overnight regularly. My skin care routine consists of a moisturiser, primer and cleanser to remove it at the end of the day. Using a face mask or a actual cleanser is such an infrequent treat for me that it really feels like I am taking care of myself. Its a treat knowing I have taken time for myself and I feel better for it. 

These are just a few ways I like to practice Self Care. Please let me know how you practice Self Care, I am always looking for new way.
Write again soon x

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*This post was sponsered by Clive Christian
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